Fellowship Opportunity: Building Capital

Open Call for a Building Capital Fellow

Open House New York (OHNY) seeks an inquisitive and collaborative professional to serve as our Building Capital Fellow. The Fellowship is a paid, year-long, part-time opportunity that invites an emerging leader from a historically under-represented community to lead research, content creation, and program design for OHNY’s newest Urban Systems series, Building Capital: The Value of Place.

Fellowship applications are due January 31, 2023 with a target start date in March 2023.

About Building Capital

From municipal bonds to affordable housing tax credits, highway construction to park development, the flow of financial capital drives the shape and function of the built environment—defining who has access to opportunity and who does not.

Building Capital: The Value of Place is a multiyear investigation into how different forms of capital—financial, cultural, community—determine quality of place and quality of life in New York. Launching in spring 2023, the series aims to equip community and cultural organizations confronting or spearheading neighborhood change with practical resources, know-how, and a supportive peer network as they work to reverse decades of chronic disinvestment.

Elevating the role of cultural anchors and community-driven solutions for promoting equitable development, the series will address two primary themes:

  • How a combination of financial, cultural, and community assets can mitigate chronic disinvestment and legacies of discriminatory policy and planning practices in communities of color; and
  • How place, race, and access determine quality of life in neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Building Capital: The Value of Place is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and presented in partnership with Bloomberg Connects.

About the Fellowship

The Building Capital Fellow will be responsible for identifying themes, issues, and civic, private, and public sector actors in order to develop a research base and programs for OHNY’s newest Urban Systems series, Building Capital: The Value of Place. The Fellow will develop an in-depth understanding of the economic, cultural, social, and built systems of New York City, gaining an exposure to industry leaders across sectors with support from a dedicated Building Capital Steering Committee, Advisors, and OHNY staff.

This is a unique opportunity for a recent graduate or emerging leader to build their professional skills and network at a fast-paced civic non-profit committed to catalyzing access, transparency, and equity across the five boroughs.

The Fellowship is a paid year-long opportunity for emerging professionals, which may be extended beyond the first year for an additional stipend. The Fellowship is not a staff position; no benefits or health insurance will be provided.


Applicants must be able to dedicate approximately 40 hours per month for the Fellowship for a year-long period beginning in early 2023. Eligible candidates are individuals with 3+ years of professional experience conducting research, developing programs, and producing written material for general audiences. Students are not eligible to apply, except for Ph.D. candidates who meet the Fellowship qualifications.

All applicants must, at the time of their application and throughout the Fellowship, have the legal ability to work in the United States and must reside in the New York City area for in-person meetings.

Open House New York encourages candidates from any and all backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, gender identities, and lived experiences to apply, particularly applicants who are from historically underrepresented and underinvested communities. We are an organization that is committed to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in all aspects of our work, most importantly our team.


The Fellow will play a critical role in content creation for the Building Capital series by leading research and program development and supporting stakeholder engagement.

The Fellow is required to:

  • Conduct research on themes and issues on the role of financial, cultural, and community capital in shaping quality of life.
  • Identify potential partners, projects, and issues to elevate in public programs.
  • Attend remote and in-person meetings with the Building Capital Steering Committee, Advisors, and OHNY staff to share findings and recommendations, advance program development, and document insights from meetings.
  • Summarize the issues, themes, and goals of Building Capital through framing and context statements for the series (see Deliverables below).
  • Conceptualize program formats, speakers, and topics into a program plan that engages specific communities and general audiences around issues defining the series (see Deliverables below).
  • Develop case studies and other information or resources for community partners
  • Document resources and reference materials (i.e. talks, podcasts, videos, books, articles, case studies, websites) for further investigation, which will be published on a dedicated Building Capital website.

The Fellow will produce the following deliverables:

  • Framing Statement: A 1,000—1,500-word essay that frames the series; identifies the major questions and issues that the series will address; and articulates its aims and goals
  • Context Statement: A 3,000—5,000-word essay that defines and contextualizes the problem and sub-themes the series will explore
  • Landscape Analysis: A survey of the current state of practice, identifying civic, cultural, and private sector actors at the forefront of equitable neighborhood development.
  • Case Studies: Robust and detailed examples of equitable neighborhood development strategies that combine financial, cultural, and community capital.
  • Public Programs: Approximately 25-40 public programs (mix of in-person and virtual) for both general audiences and community-based organizations as outlined in a Building Capital Program Plan developed by OHNY Staff. Programs should actively engage communities around the questions, issues, and sub-themes defined in the Framing and Context Statements. Programs should also address insights and priorities surfaced in discussions with the Building Capital Steering Committee. Deliverables for each program include details such as program titles; descriptions; locations; partners; speakers; and other relevant information. OHNY will be responsible for organizing and implementing the programs, with input as needed by the Fellow.
  • (Optional) Keynote presentation(s): Highly visual presentations summarizing findings for target audiences.
Stipend & Benefits
  • Stipend: $36,000 for one year, payable in monthly installments of $3,000, for approximately 40 hours per month.
  • Impact: Contribute to the development of applied resources and long-term partnerships for community and cultural organizations working to reverse decades of chronic disinvestment.
  • Cross-Sector Industry Exposure:  Exposure to a broad range of organizations and individuals across public, private, and civic sectors in NYC, including community and economic development, urban planning, design, arts and culture, government, and business.
  • Professional Experience and Expertise: Opportunity to strengthen skills in research, program design and development, and stakeholder engagement. Fellow will also learn about the civic, physical, social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues defining New York, and gain a comprehensive understanding about how urban systems impact quality of place and quality of life in New York and other cities.
  • Relationship-Building: The Fellow will liaise with senior leaders and experts serving on the Steering Committee. The Fellow will also work closely with partners, the Executive Director and Program Manager to co-create written and programmatic content for the Building Capital series. The Fellow will have the opportunity to present their work to tailored audiences including policymakers, community leaders, and the general public.
  • Public Education: The Fellow will directly shape and inform OHNY’s public programs that reach an audience of 150K+, and play a central role in defining the scope, goals, and impact of a multi-year series.
  • Flexible Work: Work may be conducted remotely, however some in-person meetings will be required; no additional travel budget will be provided to Fellow.

Candidates should possess 3+ years of experience as a researcher and/or storyteller translating complex topics for public audiences in layman’s terms. The ideal candidate will also:

  • Be familiar with New York City’s neighborhood(s) and development.
  • Have a background in community or economic development, public policy, government, architecture, urban design, urban planning, real estate and development, or a similar field.
  • Identify as a member of community that is historically under-represented, including but not limited to people of color, people from low-income, LGBTQ, or immigrant communities.
  • Be committed to values of openness, access, and equity.
  • Possess strong organization, project management, and communication skills.
  • Be curious, self-directed, and able to work in a small, collaborative team with a broad range of stakeholders.

Candidates selected for a final interview will be asked to submit a project proposal outlining a work plan for the deliverables outlined above, and provide documentation of previous work that speaks to their experience developing and executing projects with similar ambitions.

  • Application deadline: January 31, 2023
  • Target start date: March 2023 (flexible)
  • Term: Minimum of one year with option to extend

How To Apply

Please email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and references as a single PDF to pamela@ohny.org. Please include Building Capital Fellow + “Your Name” in the subject line.

On the fence about applying or need more information? Please reach out to pamela@ohny.org with any questions. No phone calls please.